The Kingdom of Vashtie

Vashtie Kola is the personification of the American Dream.

Born to an immigrant Trinidadian family, she left her parents home for the flawed utopia that is New York City.  She enrolled in the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, and supported herself through working at the Stussy Store in SoHo.

Fast forward nearly a decade later and she’s collaborated with Stussy (and many other brands) as she’s turned her passion for film, music and design into an empire of cool.

Vashtie has redefined what it means to be a creative. She’s shattered glass ceilings in design (she was the first woman to design a pair of Air Jordan’s) and in the male dominated arena of music video directing. Her role as a cultural savant has bred from her ability to recognize and shape trends, something which has made her highly sought after by brands and fans alike.

Her moniker “Downtown’s sweetheart” is fitting, as she is so closely identified with the informally trendy street wear style that has trickled through all subsets of fashion in the last few years. Her own tomboyish style, slouchy tee’s and NY jerseys mixed in with high end accessories is true to her downtown beginnings, the place where Vashtie says she was reborn. She’s created a clothing line Violette, which mirrors her much coveted casually luxe style.

The most invigorating thing about Vashtie is that she has created her kingdom on her own, while being herself. It’s a soft spoken triumph for feminism, that she has been so successful without having to comprise herself or her sexuality. She emanates an introspective confidence that doesn’t rely on the risqué to drum up buzz.

We caught up with her before her DJ set (filled with 00’ throwbacks which made us long for Busta Rhymes) and asked her about her innate desire to create, her love for NY and how she selects which brands she collaborates with.

Check out more of 88:88’s music here 

  • Love this! (And the interview w/ Simone Oliver).